Life in the Shadow of Death, With Cyndy Short


Cyndy Short has been representing those accused of the worst crimes imaginable for most of her career – and she has NEVER had a client sentenced to death on her watch. 

She understands that sometimes what makes a lawyer great isn’t their legal abilities, but their human abilities.  In other words, it’s time for lawyers to unlearn everything we were taught, roll up our sleeves, and immerse ourselves in understanding who our clients really are & why they did what they did.  In so doing, we better understand ourselves.  She has much to teach us about criminal defense and about finding life in the shadow of death. 


  • In order to understand our clients, we must first understand ourselves;
  • The importance of collaboration in criminal defense;
  • Giving yourself permission to “say goodbye to the law”;
  • The inherent satisfaction of hearing your story told;
  • Great stories of wild and tragic cases she’s handled;
  • How where and why a lawyer must develop their storytelling capacity;
  • How the “stages of grief” play into serious criminal cases;
  • The importance of “bringing love into the courtroom;”
  • Narrative is leadership;
  •  The judge is the 13th juror;
  •  The practice of social geography  and body mapping and the use of VIDEO to achieve it.




Psychodrama Podcast episode with Patrick Barone:


Alex Kotlowitz Article: In the Face of Death:

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